Vision

On Sunday night the elders laid out the Singing Oaks Vision and handed it out. A good deal of work went into that vision… and hours of discussion. And there is a lot to it… more than anyone can do justice to in one meeting, or one sermon, or one blog. So, I’m not going to attempt it.

However, I want to make absolutely sure that our eyes are on the focal point of that vision… the opening statement:

“Singing Oaks is called to love God and to love others as Jesus loved. We believe that this decision to love matures in each of us as the power of the Holy Spirit works through us to make us Christ followers.”

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Renew

Welcome to 2018! A new year begins, and with it the sense of a fresh start… beginning over. It is a time for resolve. I have been told that in the month of January over 133 million Americans will make New Year’s resolutions. Yet less than 10% of us will keep them.

Have I discouraged you? I hope not. After all, if resolutions were easy we wouldn’t have to make them in the first place! We would have achieved our aims long ago. No. When we make resolutions we gird ourselves up to go where we have never gone before. Resolutions are special because they take us to new heights. It is small wonder that resolutions often fail. If 133 million Americans were making their resolutions and were achieving 100% success, I would assume that we weren’t aiming very high. Wouldn’t you?

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Post-Truth

It’s official. Truth is dead. Facts are passé. The Oxford English Dictionary selected “post-truth” as its international word of the year for 2016. The dictionary defines the term as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Each year the OED chooses a word that captures the “ethos, mood or preoccupations of that particular year… and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.” “Post-truth” was selected as the editors noted a 2,000 percent increase in its usage over 2015… in articles and social media on both sides of the pond. I believe the editors nailed it. I believe it is where we are as a culture. It is almost universal. And it is where we are likely to remain for a long time.

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Disaster!

What a time we have had over the last several weeks! Since the middle of August, American territory has been hit by not one but three of the worst hurricanes of all time… Harvey, Irma and Maria. As I write, Maria has blasted through Puerto Rica. It and much of the Caribbean has been decimated. Meanwhile, Mexico has suffered two major earthquakes… one, two days ago, which resulted in hundreds of deaths. I watched television this morning as rescuers were desperately trying to dig out a little girl from the rubble.

What, as Christians are we to make of all this? As I google ministerial responses I find no shortage of preachers who think that they know exactly what all this means. First: there are those who are sure it is God’s judgment because of something or another. Back when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 various ministers blamed it on the gay community, or Obama, or Mitt Romney. This time, while no one seems to be blaming Trump, the same sorts of response are out there. Second: many are saying we may be seeing signs of the end times.

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Power and Presence

When the Apostle Paul looks back on his ministry, he sums it up with these words:

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

When Paul sums up what the kingdom of God is about, he says this:

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20.

When Paul sums up the Christian life, he says this:

“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” Romans 8:8-9.

It seems to me that there is a huge gap between what we read in scripture and what we find in contemporary religious culture in North America today. If you read the Bible on its own terms and not with modern secular bias, you cannot help but come to the conclusion that Christianity is about the power and presence of God working in us. You cannot help but see that God does powerful amazing things in us and through us when we surrender to Him. And you cannot help but see that the Holy Spirit is as essential to the believer’s existence as the air that we breathe.

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on the journeybaby dedication

Location
McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209

940.387.4355

map

Sunday Worship Schedule
8:30 - Worship (1st Service)
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr-4th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend children's church.
9:40 - Focused Fellowship
This is a time of fellowship and refreshments throughout the building. Children pickup before or after Kids Praise.
10:00 - Adult Bible Classes & Kids Discipleship
Adult Bible Classes - locations vary. High School & Middle School Discipleship Groups in the Youth area. Kids Praise for 3yr-4th grade. Nursery 0-2yr.
11:00 - Worship (2nd Service) & Kids Bible Class
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr - 8th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend Bible classes.

Wednesday Evening Schedule
5:30 - Fellowship Meal
Adults - $4 and Students/Children $3 (during the school year)
6:30 - Passion Worship
Praise and worship time in the Worship Center.
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery group that provides a safe place to address and deal with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups.
7:00 - Bible Classes & Small Groups
Classes for children and adults of all ages and other ministry groups meet at various locations throughout the building.

More Singing Oaks Websites
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